Education - Culture - Youth
6. Culture & Multilingualism
Culture became a community competency in the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992. Today, there are a number of initiatives and programs the EU runs to promote culture in the Union, with cooperation on music, film, dance, heritage, art, and other cultural issues.
At the EU level, culture is a matter of encouraging pan-European identity while preserving the many languages, cultures and traditions of the EU's citizenry.
The Culture Programme (2007-2013),
with a budget of 400 million, is aimed at developing transnational cultural cooperation between operators from the countries of the enlarged European Union participating in the programme. The programme has three central objectives with a significant European added value:
- supporting the transnational mobility of professionals in the cultural sector;
- encouraging the circulation of works of art and artistic and cultural products beyond national borders;
- promoting intercultural dialogue based on equality of cultures.
European Capital of Culture Programme
selects cities annually to showcase their cultural heritage for one year. Over the years, selected cities have benefited from the international interest these selections provide. Thus far only member states and candidate countries have been named Capitals of Culture, though the Council can designate one city from a non-EU state if it is unanimously approved. The current program is set to run until 2019.
2008, European Year of Intercultural Dialogue
was proposed in October 2005 by the Commission. The Dialogue has a budget of 10 million and will feature a series of intercultural dialogs contributing to better living in the EU. With a variety of venues, especially schools and institutes, the Dialogue will attempt to involve as many people from as many walks of life as possible. The Commission issued a Call for Ideas for the 2008 Dialogue, which concluded in October 2006. The results page can be found here.
is the EU support programme for the European audiovisual industry. MEDIA co-finances training initiatives for audiovisual industry professionals, the development of production projects (feature films, television drama, documentaries, animation and new media), as well as the promotion of European audiovisual works. The new MEDIA 2007 programme (2007-2013) is the fourth multi-annual programme since 1991 and has a budget of 755 million. The programme is divided into five actions.
- the training of professionals
- the development of production projects and companies
- the distribution of cinematographic works and audiovisual programmes
- the promotion of cinematographic works and audiovisual programmes, including the support for cinematographic festivals
- horizontal actions/pilot projects
The policy of official multilingualism seeks to promote the wider knowledge and use of all its official languages throughout the Union, as well as to protect minority languages. Each Member State, when it joins the Union, stipulates which language or languages it wants to have declared official languages of the EU.
Currently the European Union has 23 official languages, with German the most widely spoken mother-tongue. English is the most widely spoken second-language and is arguably becoming the most used language in European transactions. There are over 150 unofficial European languages spoken in the EU, which are protected by the member states. A number of other languages from the Middle East, India and the Balkans are also spoken, though they receive no official sanction from the Union.
In July 2003, the European Commission adopted an Action Plan for the promotion of language learning and linguistic diversity, which proposed 45 actions to be carried out between 2004-2006 in three key areas:
- to extend the benefits of language learning to all citizens as a lifelong activity;
- to improve the quality of language teaching at all levels;
- to build an environment which is favorable to multilingualism.
- 1. Towards Education and Training 2010
- 2. Programmes and Actions
- 3. European Institute of Technology
- 4. Recognition of Qualifications
- 5. Youth in Action
- 6. Culture & Multilingualism
- 7. Key policy makers and contacts